Can pupil size be measured to assess design products?

Chun Heng Ho, Yen Nien Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Citations (Scopus)


Some studies assessed aesthetic appreciation by pupillary measurement. While design judgments are also a kind of aesthetic appreciation, design products might be suitable for assessment in pupillary measurement as well. Hence, this study explores the relationship between pupil size and user subjective opinion using forty-eight International Affective Picture System (IAPS) images and forty-eight product images as stimuli. The stimuli are composed of positive, negative, and neutral images. For each trial, participants viewed scrambled versions of image and then viewed unscrambled versions (target image). The pupil sizes of participants were measured while viewing target image. After viewing target image, participants rated immediately their emotional response to the target on a 7-point scale. The results indicated that the two classes of stimuli, IAPS and opener images, caused different variations in pupil sizes. The result of IAPS herein concerning the effect of emotion on pupil size is similar to that identified in prior research. However, product pictures yielded different results from IAPS pictures. The measurement of pupil size cannot distinguish between positive and neutral emotional responses. Negative emotional responses to products were reflected weaker than the other emotional responses. The pupillary responses were not similar viewing negative images of IAPS that pupillary variation was larger than neutral pictures. Taken together, the findings of this study support the claim that pupil size can be measured to assess products. Relevance to industry: Since pupil size can be used to distinguish products that would elicit negative emotion, thus, on-line shopping service provider can measure customer's pupil size through laptop's camera to determine whether they dislike the product.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)436-441
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Industrial Ergonomics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014 May

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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